SAVED FOR POSTERITY: “That Old Girl of Mine”

The Detroit Free Press has a story about Egberg Van Alstyne, perhaps “the greatest writer of popular music in America,” concerning a brush with disaster he had awhile back at a Chicago hotel, when he was unable to find the only manuscript of a song he’d written, “That Old Girl of Mine.”

Only after offering a $25 reward, which led one of the bell boys to rummage through all the garbage dumped out of the waste baskets in the hotel, was the manuscript recovered.  Thanks to the bell boy, this fabulous song has been preserved for posterity. One imagines that the song will still be available for purchase a century hence.  Of course by then, one imagines, there will be other songs with the same theme that might be even more fabulous.

“That Old Girl of Mine”

The twilight shades are falling,
The sun has gone to rest.
In dreams I’m now recalling
The girl I love the best.
How well do I remember
The golden days gone by,
When hearts were true and love was new
To you, my Lou, and I.

In your eyes the light of love was softly beaming,
My dearie, so sweet and cheery.
In your hair a shade of gold was gleaming,
Like moonbeams that shine.
Lou, Lou, I still love you,
For the sake of Auld Lang Syne;
And I call you, when I fall to sleep a-dreaming,
“That Old Girl of Mine.”

The roses, sweet and tender,
Are sad when you are gone.
The stars have lost their splendor,
But rosy is the dawn.
The nightingales are singing
In summer skies of blue,
And while they sing they seem to bring
Sweet memories of you.

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